Parenting Autism: How To Get A Diagnosis For Your Child

how to get a diagnosis for your child

Getting a diagnosis for Autism can be a very stressful time for the parents. You have probably spent weeks, months and possibly years wondering if you’re going loopy or that there is actually, something wrong with your child. Now you have got this far, you want to know what’s going to happen next.

There is no medical test to prove whether your child has Autism or not. It is not like testing to see if they have a fractured toe. It is rather a process of elimination. You, as their carer will be asked a lot of questions about family history, environment, school (if appropriate) plus they will want you to give in as much detail as you can your child’s developmental progress as you see it.

michelle hatcher's powering parenting for autism

There will be, for the paediatrician or child development professional a checklist they will go through to determine if there are signs of Autism. Depending on how old your child is (as they can see many teenagers as well as toddlers) they will perform some role playing with them, chat to them, ask them to engage in a board game, play with toys and so on.

What he or she is looking for here is interaction, imagination and communication. These are the three areas which are particularly affected by Autism. After a few weeks (possibly 3 to 6 meetings with you and your child) they will offer a report for you to go through. It will also offer a diagnosis. You have plenty of time to read through it thoroughly to see if you agree. There will be some information on suggested support interventions to help your child develop the areas where they appear to struggle.

One of the main points in this film is that you don’t have to go with the first opinion you’re offered. If you are not happy with the diagnosis, ask to be seen by someone else.

One of the things that parents tend to do is rely heavily on what they are told by a group of professionals and ignore the questions piling up in their minds. It is very easy to feel as though you are being swept along with the tide. Along the line you may find it all very overwhelming; you though your child’s life was going one way and not suddenly it is going in a different direction. It is sad but parents can tend to be forgotten about during the process. It is vital that you talk to someone when you feel swamped. You can call either the Young Minds helpline or, if you wish, the National Autistic Society helpline. They are open 24 hours a day are specially trained to help with any worries you have confidentially.

The more supported YOU feel, the better the outcome for you and your child. So do please remember to look after yourself too.  Watch the following video on the subject of getting a diagnosis and don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!

If you like this post, please subscribe to ensure you never miss an post! I will be covering all aspects of Autism from diagnosis to Autism in toddlers, school and KS1, KS2, KS3 and beyond, transition to adulthood, social environments, hospital stays and how to cope with them, employment and independent living.

Don’t forget to enrol in our FREE Udemy course called ‘Unleash The Positive Mind’ a short, but amazingly effective course to help you become the best teacher and power parent for your child. Take the course and you will find your child’s social and communication skills will rocket, simply by using the easy to follow methods. The course is for you and your child to complete. It provides easy to follow videos, downloads plus games and role playing making the learning process fun for both of you!

ENROL HERE!!

michelle hatcher's powering parenting for autismMichelle Hatcher is an Autism researcher and campaigner, consultant CBT Therapist, NLP Practitioner, Accredited Life Coach and mother of an Autistic teenager.

She is also a member of the Association of Integrative Psychology, the Institute of Leasdership and Management and the International Association of Neuro-linguistic Programming and Coaching. She has studied Autism and childhood conditions over over 15 years. She is the author of the #1 Best Selling parenting book: How To Turn Your Child’s Autism Around And Save Money. She currently conducts Autism parenting classes along with her practice. She lives in Wiltshire in the UK with her son, her family and three cats. 

 

 

 

How An Autistic Child Sees The World: Parents Evening

fitting in
Me and Jon

Autistic children are gifted.

Now, there’s a statement.

What sort of gifts then to they have? The ability to find something funny? The ability to view the world from a different angle? Yes. The ability to make us feel proud from their achievements. Yes. A resounding yes.

Jonathan is almost 15. He is bright, top of the class in most subjects in fact, he is sharp witted, clever and a damn good solider on Heroes and Generals. He is to me, the most extraordinary and most accomplished son I could have ever imagined to have.

But there is a problem.  A big problem that day which we had to get through…

Parents evening

Jon’s mind works on one level. We stand in the corridor at school, that evening and we’re waiting to go in and see his English teacher. Dad asks him what he wants for dinner. Now this presents a problem in Jon’s mind.

Jon’s brain says to him, ‘hang on a minute. I need to deal with this first. I am standing in the corridor at school, its dark and its the evening. I am never at school at this time of night, and it doesn’t fit in with my world. THEN, I have to deal with the fact that I am surrounded by people I know, school friends, but then who are those people who are standing with them? I don’t know them. Are they parents? Siblings? Oh dear, I don’t like this. This situation doesn’t make sense to me. We are next in to see my English teacher, which means I have got to walk out of my comfort zone, across the corridor and everyone’s going to look at me!! NOW Dad asks me what I want for dinner???? Can’t he see I am dealing with this awful nightmare??’

Dad paces up and down impatiently.  He hates being at school. It reminds him of his own parents evenings from decades ago.

Jon’s brain says ‘I’m going to have to deal with this question now and I don’t know if I can.’

I can’t answer that right now Dad.  Dad doesn’t understand… and then Jon storms out with an overloaded brain and we don’t get to see his English teacher after all.

Autism is a complex adjustment to the world around us. A world that you and I take for granted most days. Our brains are like filing systems; rather like having a secretary standing at your brain’s desk with glasses on the end of her nose and pen and pad posed ready to take the actions for the day.

Our brains say ‘Now, Miss Doyle, I want you to take this down, we are currently standing in the school corridor waiting for the English teacher, but we need to start thinking what we want for dinner. Can you come up with a few suggestions for the board please Miss Doyle? And, oh yes, we need some milk and bread on the way home, and we need to think about if the Sky box was set correctly for EastEnders.’

Yes Mr Brain (she scribbles down with such speed)

‘Oh an Miss Doyle? Can you make sure that we have the shirts ironed ready for school tomorrow?’

Yes Mr Brain.

Job done.

In Jon’s brain, there is a very different scenario going on….

‘Miss Brown!!!  Miss Brown??? Oh bugger, why won’t she come in? Oh blimey, I haven’t got a secretary…. right better sort this one out myself… and where’s that banging noise coming from? I can’t concentrate…. argh! Science homework, I can’t think about that right now… ok, deep breath…. right, where are we? Oh yes, school corridor…. for what? English teacher…. but it’s dark outside. What the Hell are we doing in school? It’s dinner time… I shall call down to stomach, see what’s going on down there…. (beep beep) ah yes (picks up the intercom) Stomach? what’s going on? What do you mean, you can’t talk right now? Sorry? Dinner? Well, I can’t think about that now can’t you see we’re in a corridor at school? What are we doing here? It’s parents evening, stomach, are you not keeping up with this? Yes, I know it’s dark outside…. hang on… there is someone else on the line…. (beep beep) hello? Ah yes, feet, all ok down there? What? Oh I see, you need to walk across the corridor…. you say you can’t do it why? Oh…. so what did eyes say then? Someone looked at them funny?  Well who? Oh….. they don’t know…. well, there’s no point asking voice box to ask them, voice box is not having a good day. Well, you see its Thursday and they always have Thursday’s off…. hang on, there is someone on the other line…. Hi ears, how are you? What? When? well, this can’t be? I can’t deal with that question! Dinner you say you heard? Well, I’m sorry there is just far too much going on!! Miss Brown? Miss Brown??? Oh yes… I don’t have a secretary…..’

All we need to do is feed information to them clearly, correctly and using the right tone, and preferably one thing at a time. If we remember that these children are better at dealing with only one scenario at a time, they would feel more secure and happy. Routine is a key thing I have learned from Jon. The idea of parents evening might be something that is in our sphere of understanding twice a year, but to Jon, it is like being on another planet at the wrong time of the day.  It is overload and the only way for Jon to clear overload in his mind, is to walk away from the whole thing. I completely understand that and have spent many years happily following him out of buildings and places of interest, everywhere.

It is something I will always do.

These kids are brilliant, their brains are sharper, quicker and deeper than we will ever understand, they just need a different kind of guidance, support and love.  Then we can really watch them flourish.

As for the English teacher, well, we will see her another time.

In daylight preferably….

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